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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
March 17, 2013
• 12:00 PM
• Stamford Bridge, London
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 41639
F. Lampard 19'
E. Hazard 50'
West Ham United
That's all for the play-by-play coverage this afternoon. Thanks for joining me for what proved to be a thoroughly entertaining game. Be sure to stick with Goal.com for all the reaction from today's matches. From me, though, it's goodbye!
West Ham, meanwhile, remain five points away from the 38-point target set by Sam Allardyce for Premier League survival.
Chelsea come back from the break with games in three competitions in a week, as they travel to Southampton in the league on 30 March before taking on Manchester United in the FA Cup replay and then hosting Rubin Kazan in the Europa League.
Rafa Benitez's side go into the international break having moved up to third in the table after Tottenham lost at home to Fulham. It was a much better performance from the Blues today, although the lack of goals from strikers could prove to be an issue in the run-in.
FULL-TIME at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea have picked up a well-deserved 2-0 win against West Ham this afternoon. There were superb performances from Mata and Hazard, while Lampard will make the headlines with his 200th strike for the club. Jaaskelainen was excellent in goal for the Hammers; without him it could have been more.
90' + 2'
Mikel dispossesses Carlton Cole and sets another Chelsea move going. Hazard drifts to the right and it takes two West Ham defenders to force the midfielder out of play.
Jarvis swings in a corner which Carroll heads over the bar as the board goes up to indicate three minutes will be added on. The striker has been superb in the air this afternoon but has been unable to produce a goal for his efforts.
Azpilicueta squares it to Lampard on the edge of the box, and his first-time effort is blocked by Tomkins. He then almost turns provider as he slides a ball through for Hazard, whose deflected effort forces Jaaskelainen to adjust and parry away superbly.
We're in extreme late goal territory now, but Chelsea look to have done enough to win the game. Ba wins a free kick in the middle of the pitch and Chelsea can keep the ball to see out the rest of the game.
John Obi Mikel
Should be three!! Oscar breaks free on the right before laying back to Lampard on the penalty spot. You'd bet a fair amount on the Chelsea man scoring from that position but he scoops the ball over the bar. Still just the 200 goals for Lampard, then.
Great save from Cech! Jarvis swings a dangerous early cross in and substitute Carlton Cole sticks out a leg to divert the ball towards the corner, forcing an excellent stop from Cech to his right. Meanwhile, Mata comes off to an ovation from the home fans as he is replaced by John Obi Mikel.
Half-hearted appeals for a penalty from the home faithful as Ba goes down in the box, but the referee waves it away and West Ham clear.
Substitute Oscar does well to pick out Mata in the middle, but the Chelsea man produces an uncharacteristic poor finish, scuffing his right-footed effort wide.
Mata and Cole link up well on the right-hand side and the full-back tries to loft a cross in, but he can't clear the defence and it's headed behind. Mata's corner is met by Cahill at pace but he powers his header straight at Jaaskelainen.
Ricardo Vaz Te
It's not been Demba Ba's afternoon, and the striker again fails to find the target, slicing an effort wide from 12 yards out with Reid putting him under pressure.
And Luiz is promptly replaced by John Terry, who comes on to make - amazingly - only his tenth Premier League appearance of the season.
Great chance for Hazard! The midfielder sees a low left-footed shot blocked from 8 yards out by O'Brien and West Ham survive the danger. Meanwhile, Luiz is struggling and looks like he will have to come off.
Luiz gets away with some cheeky skill in the left-back area after he gets barged over by Taylor and the Blues retain possession. The game's pace once again slows down a little, with the result looking more certain.
Yellow Card Guy Demel
Lampard drills the set piece and it clips the wall before going straight to Jaaskelainen. The visitors then win a free kick on the centre circle but O'Neil's ball is headed away comfortably and Chelsea break again. Demel brings down Hazard and earns himself a booking before Luiz belts the free kick way off target.
Yellow Card Winston Reid
O'Brien lofts a diagonal ball into the area and Carroll again wins the header but Cech saves well. Chelsea break forward and Mata strides away before being pulled back by Reid, who picks up a deserved booking and the hosts have a free kick 35 yards out.
Gary O'Neil wastes a good chance as he finds himself in a dangerous position on the left-hand side of the box, but he flicks an effort at goal which Cech saves easily.
The last ten minutes have definitely seen a change in possession, but West Ham can't do anything with it. Carroll tries to reach a high ball in the box but it's too near Cech and the goalkeeper claims comfortably.
Luiz produces a superb slide to stop Demel in his tracks before Lampard sets Hazard free on the left with a lovely pass. The midfielder darts into the box but can't find a man with his cross and the West Ham defenders force it out for a throw.
The game appears to be going through a slightly scrappy spell now, with both sides giving the ball away. Chelsea try to slow things down by keeping the ball but it's eventually given away.
O'Brien spreads it wide looking for Vaz Te but Hazard comes across to head it behind for a corner. Taylor's ball in comes straight back to him but he can't clear the first man with his second cross and it goes behind for a corner, which he yet again fires straight to the first defender.
Collins marches off to be replaced by James Tomkins, who makes a return from illness. Less than half an hour for the visitors to get back in this.
The visitors are just starting to get more opportunities to go forward now, with Jarvis winning the battle against Azpilicueta on the wing more often than not. His cross can't be met by Carroll this time, though, and it goes behind for a goal kick.
Carroll is working hard to cause Chelsea problems, and this time he meets a deep cross from Jarvis, rising well above Luiz, but heads it over the bar.
According to Infostrada, Chelsea are unbeaten in the last 13 Premier League games where they've been in front at the break. And with the lead doubled early in this half, it's not looking good for the Hammers today.
The hosts are dominating possession, moving it around with real authority. Lampard tries to set Azpilicueta away on the right but O'Brien does really well to cut it out, and West Ham break forward as Carroll holds off Lampard before drilling a disappointing effort straight at Cech.
Fine skill from Jack Collison as he skips away from Lampard before trying to curl an effort into the top corner which Cech plucks out of the air. The hosts break up the other end, though, and Mata strides through the defence before forcing another good save with his legs from Jaaskelainen.
Lampard almost doubles his tally for the day as he meets Azpilicueta's cross but blasts it over. The second goal seems to have relaxed the home side and fans, and you wouldn't bet against them getting more now. West Ham have a lot of work to do.
Goal Eden Hazard
GOAL!! AND HAZARD MAKES IT TWO!! Well, I said he looked up for it, and it's a great goal from the midfielder! The Belgium international receives the ball on the right-hand side of the area with a lovely flick from Mata, before cutting inside and hammering a left-footed effort low past Jaaskelainen. Lovely goal.
Assist Juan Mata
The half hasn't srarted with quite the same zip as the first. Hazard tries to get things going with some superb skill to move away from two West Ham players before dinking an excellent cross into the area. He really looks up for it today.
There's an early bit of defending to do for Chelsea as West Ham force a corner before substitute Matt Taylor scuffs an effort straight at Cech from the right-hand side of the area.
West Ham get the second half underway at Stamford Bridge.
Elsewhere there's good news for Chelsea fans, with Tottenham slipping to a 1-0 defeat at home to Fulham. Dimitar Berbatov came back to haunt his own club with the winning strike, so Chelsea can now move third with victory this afternoon.
Demba Ba, meanwhile, doesn't appear to have his shooting boots on today. The striker is getting in some superb positions but his finishing has let him down so far.
It was a bright start from the visitors, but Chelsea dominated possession as the game went on. With the score still only at 1-0, however, Allardyce will fancy snatching something from this, especially with Carroll a constant threat for the Hammers.
HALF-TIME at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea go into the break ahead, thanks to Frank Lampard's 200th goal for the Blues. It could, and possibly should, be more though as a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing have kept West Ham in the game.
45' + 1'
West Ham are in possession in the first of two added minutes. Vaz Te has space 30 yards out with the defence sitting deep, and he rifles a low effort toward goal which Cech does well to hold on to.
Carroll turns defender has he storms back to produce an old-fashioned shoulder barge on Ramires and win possession. Chelsea get it back, however, and Moses releases Ba yet again, but sadly for the Blues it's another poor finish from the striker as he fires it straight at the goalkeeper.
Great save by Jaaskelainen! Ba is released by Moses and the striker opens his body up to try and roll an effort into the corner, but the Hammers goalkeeper sticks out a leg to keep out the shot with an excellent save.
Chance at the other end as Carroll finds space in the area before laying back to Diame, but the midfielder's effort is blocked by Ramires with a desperate challenge.
Great effort from Luiz! Guy Demel gives away a silly foul out wide and Mata whips it in, but the visitors clear. It loops out and Luiz meets it with a spectacular first-time left-footed volley which fizzes wide, much to the relief of Jaaskelainen.
Ashley Cole and Luiz link up well on the left, before the latter finds Hazard on the edge of the box. The midfielder lays it off to Mata who curves a 20-yard effort just wide of the post.
West Ham are really struggling to keep the ball now, with Mata and Hazard running the show. Azpilicueta pulls the ball back to Victor Moses just inside the area, but his shot is dragged wide of the post. The hosts are well on top now.
Hazard tries to find Ba on the edge of the box and it comes back to him, so the midfielder drills a shot towards goal but it curls straight into the arms of a grateful Jasskelainen.
Cesar Azpilicueta stands firm to cleanly take the ball off Jarvis in the box. West Ham still push forward and the midfielder looks like he has broken free but is penalised for a push on the Chelsea full-back.
Lampard's goal was his fifth in seven games for Chelsea. He's in the form of his life yet his future's still in doubt. Surely he'll be offered a new contract?
Ramires is down on halfway after being on the receiving end of a firm challenge from Diame. It's a chance for the players to have a break after a fairly breathless opening half an hour.
Diame brings down Lampard nearly 30 yards from goal and Chelsea have a free kick in a dangerous place. Luiz curls it low around the wall and Jaaskelainen has to push it behind for a corner, which the Hammers shot-stopper claims comfortably.
Chance for West Ham as Carroll gets on the end of Jarvis' cross from the left and flashes a header wide of Cech's far post. The Blues are struggling with his aerial threat and it could be a way back in for Sam Allardyce's men.
Mata and Hazard are linking up very well in midfield for the Blues, and Chelsea have West Ham pinned back in their own half, stroking the ball around calmly and confidently.
The home side are definitely on top, but West Ham still look threatening. Carroll v Luiz is shaping up to be an epic battle this afternoon as the striker is again penalised for a foul on the defender.
Goal disallowed!! Matt Jarvis hooks the ball into the area from the byline and Carroll challenges Luiz, wins the ball and slots it past Cech, but the referee blows after judging that the Hammers striker fouled the Chelsea defender. Lucky escape for the Brazilian, there.
Lampard is just two goals shy of Bobby Tambling's record now, and I think we all expect him to surpass that by the end of the season. The West Ham defence helped the midfielder there, though, as they went completely missing.
Assist Eden Hazard
Goal Frank Lampard
GOAL!! LAMPARD GETS HIS 200TH GOAL!! Hazard hammers a shot from 25 yards which Jaaskelainen saves, but Chelsea keep possession, and the Belgium international lofts the ball over for an unmarked Lampard to nod into the top corner from six yards out.
Play restarts as Cahill jogs off the pitch but it looks like he'll be able to come back on and continue. Chelsea still in possession in midfield.
Gary Cahill is down receiving treatment for Chelsea, so John Terry is warming up for the hosts. It looks like a problem with his right leg.
Ramires whips in a cross from the left and Collins gets on the end of it but diverts the ball towards his own goal. Luckily for the defender it was straight at Jaaskelainen.
The game has been played at a feisty pace so far, and West Ham are well in this. Mata breaks down the right and Reid slides across to deny Ba at the near post from the cross.
West Ham win the first corner of the game, and Gary O'Neil's ball isn't quite met by Mohamed Diame and Chelsea clear. The hosts break up the other end but Mata's cross is blocked by Joey O'Brien.
The Blues haven't lost a Premier League home game in March for 12 years. That's quite some stat.
At the other end West Ham have their first effort as Collins volleys just over Petr Cech's crossbar from 18 yards out after Carroll had won another free kick.
Oh dear, that's not a good effort! Ba is through one-on-one and bears down on goal, trying to curl a side-footed effort around the goalkeeper but it skips miles wide of the post. Really poor finish.
Winston Reid stops the dangerous-looking Hazard and strides forward but gives it away. Mata lofts the ball over the defence and Ba springs the offside trap, but can't get on the end of the pass and it rolls behind.
It's been a fairly tight start, but Chelsea have the early possession. Mata's high ball is headed away by James Collins but the Blues have the ball in midfield still.
Juan Mata spreads it wide to Eden Hazard, who slides in a low cross looking for Demba Ba at the near post but Jussi Jaaskelainen comes out to claim it. David Luiz is then penalised for a foul on Andy Carroll at the other end, but Ricardo Vaz Te hammers the set piece well over.
And we're off! Chelsea get the game underway.
Greg Stobart is our man in the stands this afternoon. Here's some info from him on the Blues' legendary former Hammer: "Frank Lampard captains Chelsea today against his former club as he edges towards the club’s all-time goalscoring record. The midfielder has scored 199 goals for the Blues, just three less than Bobby Tambling - and while he will be treated like a hero from the home fans he can expect the usual hostile reception from the visiting West Ham supporters here."
Around five minutes to go until things get started at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea can stretch the gap over Arsenal back to five points with a win this afternoon, and they should be fancied to do so, considering the Hammers' poor scoring record away from Upton Park.
You may remember the Hammers beat Chelsea 3-1 at Upton Park in December, early in Rafa Benitez's somewhat troubled reign. Can Sam Allardyce's men snatch an unlikely double this afternoon? The likes of Tottenham and Arsenal will be hoping so.
So, no Fernando Torres or John Terry in the starting line-up for Chelsea despite their goals against Steaua Bucharest on Thursday, while Joe Cole is not fit for the visitors, so he misses out on a return to his former club.
WEST HAM: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Reid, Collins, O'Brien; O'Neil, Diame, Collison, Jarvis; Vaz Te, Carroll. /// SUBS: Spiegel, McCartney, Pogatetz, Tomkins, Taylor, C.Cole, Chamakh.
CHELSEA: Cech; Azpilicueta, Cahill, Luiz, Cole; Ramires, Lampard; Moses, Mata, Hazard; Ba. /// Subs: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Terry, Bertrand, Mikel, Oscar, Torres.
Despite it being St Patrick's Day, there won't be any green in sight in west London today. Except for the pitch, I guess. Anyway, the teams have been revealed so let's take a look...
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's play-by-play coverage of the Premier League clash between Chelsea and West Ham. I'm Tom McKeown and I'll be here to guide you through all the action at Stamford Bridge.
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